Title

Meditation, Critical Thinking and Critical Inquiry in Higher Education: A Case Study

Location

3035

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

13-1-2017 3:40 PM

End Date

13-1-2017 5:00 PM

Abstract

The current research is a case study of 1 group of university students bounded in time, limited to 8 weeks. The participants will be 1- to 20 university students willing to meditate for 10 minutes a day, 4 days a week, and complete a critical thinking activity online. The meditation that will be used is Guided Mindfulness Meditation. Participants will go to a researcher made website created for the study. The informed consent will be completed online. The recruitment announcement will include a link to the survey URL hosted via SurveyMonkey. The informed consent will be integrated into the online survey, with the informed consent appearing as the first page of the survey. Participants must read the study description and indicate their agreement to participate by clicking the button indicating "yes" to the informed consent to access the questionnaire. The objective of the current qualitative case study is to examine participants’ perceptions on meditation related to critical thinking. The location of the study will be virtual. At the beginning and end of the study students will participate in open-ended phone interviews related to critical thinking. The interviews will be recorded and transcribed. Themes will be extracted from the data: interview transcripts, weekly journals, and online surveys. The intent of the study is to understand perceptions of university students on the relationship between meditation and critical thinking. Results may provide direction for further quantitative studies on mindfulness and critical thinking, as well as possible guidelines and recommendations for educators.

Comments

Critical thinking is one of the most important skills necessary for college graduates to become effective contributors in the global workforce. (Liu, Frankel, & Roohr, 2014), The general problem is that critical thinking is rare in the college classroom (Paul, 2004). Meditation can help students in higher education learn to bring attention/awareness to preferences, biases, and mental perspectives, so as not to be caught in limited viewpoints or perspectives (Shapiro, Brown, Astin, & Duerr, 2008). When a student is not wholly defined by, and potentially limited by their viewpoints, it may aid in the development of critical thinking skills, such as testing what is true, recognizing concealed principles, forming ideas on available information, and evaluating the result of a process (Shapiro, Brown, Astin, & Duerr, 2008). In a control meditation group, the length of time participants meditated was predictive of the level of their executive function improvement. Executive functions involved setting goals, planning, and self monitoring, as well as memory, language, attention and perception including being able to exert conscious control to find answers to problems and decide what to do during new sets of circumstances. Results suggested that quantity of time spent meditating was related to quantity of improvement of the executive cognitive functions (Helber, Zook, & Immergut, 2012). Rich Fernandez, Director of Executive Development, Google stated in 2013 that he believes reflective practice is of great importance related to modern world view, and that mindfulness practice is a subsequent exciting trend in the development of systematized knowledge (http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cpts/index.html, retrieved 10/13/15).

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Jan 13th, 3:40 PM Jan 13th, 5:00 PM

Meditation, Critical Thinking and Critical Inquiry in Higher Education: A Case Study

3035

The current research is a case study of 1 group of university students bounded in time, limited to 8 weeks. The participants will be 1- to 20 university students willing to meditate for 10 minutes a day, 4 days a week, and complete a critical thinking activity online. The meditation that will be used is Guided Mindfulness Meditation. Participants will go to a researcher made website created for the study. The informed consent will be completed online. The recruitment announcement will include a link to the survey URL hosted via SurveyMonkey. The informed consent will be integrated into the online survey, with the informed consent appearing as the first page of the survey. Participants must read the study description and indicate their agreement to participate by clicking the button indicating "yes" to the informed consent to access the questionnaire. The objective of the current qualitative case study is to examine participants’ perceptions on meditation related to critical thinking. The location of the study will be virtual. At the beginning and end of the study students will participate in open-ended phone interviews related to critical thinking. The interviews will be recorded and transcribed. Themes will be extracted from the data: interview transcripts, weekly journals, and online surveys. The intent of the study is to understand perceptions of university students on the relationship between meditation and critical thinking. Results may provide direction for further quantitative studies on mindfulness and critical thinking, as well as possible guidelines and recommendations for educators.